5 Questions You May Have Before Installing a Central Humidifier

If you are tired of dealing with dry skin, allergies and static electricity all winter long, then it's time to have a central humidifier installed. This appliance integrates with your central HVAC system to add moisture to your air, keeping your relative humidity near the ideal 45 percent throughout the winter. Having a humidifier installed is a big yet worthwhile investment. Here are a few questions you may have as you navigate this process.

What Problems Will a Humidifier Correct?
In addition to correcting problems with dry skin, allergies and static electricity, a humidifier will also help preserve your walls, floor and furniture. Anything made from wood can crack and split when the humidity falls too low, and adding moisture to the air helps prevent these problems.

With a humidifier to keep your air moist, you may also notice softer skin, shorter recovery times from colds and the flu and healthier house plants. Plus, your heating bill may decrease since your air will feel warmer without you having to turn the thermostat up so high.

What Is a Drum Humidifier?
When researching whole-home humidifiers, one type you're bound to come across is a drum humidifier. This type of humidifier has a drum, outlined in a fabric belt, which spins over a water reservoir and absorbs water. As air blows over the drum, the moisture evaporates from the fabric and into that air.

Drum humidifiers are very affordable, making them popular among homeowners. However, they do require frequent cleaning to prevent mold and algae growth. Flow-through systems have a similar setup, though they drip moisture into a pad rather than onto a drum. Flow-through systems are less prone to mold than drum systems, but they do cost a little more.

What Is a Spray Mist Humidifier?
If you don't want to worry about changing a pad or cleaning an appliance, your HVAC specialist may recommend a spray mist humidifier instead. This type of humidifier sprays a fine mist of water into the air as the air enters your ducts. Though more expensive than drum or flow-through humidifiers, spray mist humidifiers are essentially maintenance-free, making them a good choice for busy, working parents and for rental properties.

How Do You Control the Humidifier?
Once your humidifier is installed, it will be very easy to control. If you have a Wi-Fi thermostat, you can control the humidity right at your thermostat. Generally, you can use the touch-screen display to navigate to the relative humidity settings and then use the plus and minus buttons to turn your humidity up or down. You should even be able to adjust the humidity remotely from an app.

If you do not yet have a Wi-Fi thermostat, you can have a HomeSmart service technician upgrade your system to include one when they install your humidifier. Wi-Fi thermostats save you a bundle on energy and can automatically adjust the temperature based on whether or not you are home.

How Much Does a Humidifier Cost?
A whole-home humidifier is an investment, but they're not as costly as you might assume. Costs vary widely based on the type of humidifier you choose, whether your HVAC technician needs to modify your ductwork to install it and the economy in your local area. On average, customers in the United States pay between $397 and $722, which includes the cost of installation.

If you are interested in having a humidifier installed, contact HomeSmart From Xcel Energy. We carry both Honeywell and Lennox brand central humidifiers. We can assess your needs, recommend the model that is best for you and provide you with a more precise estimate. 

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